TAMPA, Florida — U.S. Coast Guard investigators are resuming their probe of the deadly sinking of a cargo ship during a hurricane last fall, with two weeks of hearings to examine ship operations, weather forecasts and regulatory oversight.
Some two dozen maritime experts were set to testify during a second round of hearings before the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation on the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than three decades.
All 33 crew on board died in the sinking of the El Faro off the Bahamas on Oct. 1 last year. The 790-foot ship went down in a hurricane while on a cargo run between Florida and Puerto Rico.
Five of the crew, including the captain, had connections to Maine.
Among crew members lost were 53-year-old Capt. Michael Davidson of Windham, a 1988 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy; Michael Holland, 25, of Wilton, a 2012 graduate of Maine Maritime; Danielle Randolph, 34, of Rockland, a 2004 graduate of Maine Maritime; and Dylan Meklin, 23, a 2010 graduate of Rockland District High School and a 2015 graduate of Maine Maritime. Another crew member, Mitchell Kuflik of Brooklyn, New York, graduated from Maine Maritime in 2011.